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February 20, 2019

Can we cluster?

Public expenditure in Scotland runs at approximately £11bn. If our sector could secure just a tiny fraction of those public contracts, it would be transformative. The chief barrier to this happening seems to be one of scale and capacity. How much of this is a smokescreen is hard to discern.  What seems certain though, is that some of these difficulties would be overcome if our sector was more prepared to collaborate and bid for these contracts as ‘clusters’. We need to establish the extent to which there is a willingness to work in this way.


If you have 2 minutes to spare please take this survery – it will help our sector win a bigger slice of the public procurement budget.

Partnership for Procurement P4P, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, has commissioned Community Enterprise to undertake research into the opportunities for enterprising third sector organisations and social enterprise to increase local service delivery and local spend through social enterprise clusters. 

Clusters are understood as “a group of social enterprise involved in similar product service delivery / design, who are positioned closely together. These geographically concentrated groups are interconnected enterprises who trade with each other (and/or are related in some way) and as a result; have the potential to become more productive, innovative and competitive. Together these social enterprises could; with the right support and resources, put in place a more formal structure to enhance their effectiveness.”

This survey is targeted at third sector organisations and social enterprises and aims to test the scale and nature of the interest in cluster models and what the potential impact could be.  We would be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete this short survey and record your thoughts which will be fed into the research.  If you need any further information, you can contact Douglas at Community Enterprise (on 01506 862227 or  The deadline for responses is the 28th February.